The Sixth Seal: More Than Just Manhattan (Revelation 6:12)

New York, NY – In a Quake, Brooklyn Would Shake More Than Manhattan

By Brooklyn Eagle

New York, NY – The last big earthquake in the New York City area, centered in New York Harbor just south of Rockaway, took place in 1884 and registered 5.2 on the Richter Scale.Another earthquake of this size can be expected and could be quite damaging, says Dr. Won-Young Kim, senior research scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University.

And Brooklyn, resting on sediment, would shake more than Manhattan, built on solid rock. “There would be more shaking and more damage,” Dr. Kim told the Brooklyn Eagle on Wednesday.

If an earthquake of a similar magnitude were to happen today near Brooklyn, “Many chimneys would topple. Poorly maintained buildings would fall down – some buildings are falling down now even without any shaking. People would not be hit by collapsing buildings, but they would be hit by falling debris. We need to get some of these buildings fixed,” he said.

But a 5.2 is “not comparable to Haiti,” he said. “That was huge.” Haiti’s devastating earthquake measured 7.0.

Brooklyn has a different environment than Haiti, and that makes all the difference, he said. Haiti is situated near tectonic plate.

“The Caribbean plate is moving to the east, while the North American plate is moving towards the west. They move about 20 mm – slightly less than an inch – every year.” The plates are sliding past each other, and the movement is not smooth, leading to jolts, he said.

While we don’t have the opportunity for a large jolt in Brooklyn, we do have small, frequent quakes of a magnitude of 2 or 3 on the Richter Scale. In 2001 alone the city experienced two quakes: one in January, measuring 2.4, and one in October, measuring 2.6. The October quake, occurring soon after Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, “caused a lot of panic,” Dr. Kim said.

“People ask me, ‘Should I get earthquake insurance?’ I tell them no, earthquake insurance is expensive. Instead, use that money to fix chimneys and other things. Rather than panicky preparations, use common sense to make things better.”

Secure bookcases to the wall and make sure hanging furniture does not fall down, Dr. Kim said. “If you have antique porcelains or dishes, make sure they’re safely stored. In California, everything is anchored to the ground.”

While a small earthquake in Brooklyn may cause panic, “In California, a quake of magnitude 2 is called a micro-quake,” he added.

India’s Nuclear Space Arsenal

India Just Triggered a Ballistic ‘Space Weapon’ and Pakistan Should Be Terrified

Ben Brown

India becomes the fourth country in the world to possess space weaponry. | Source: Shutterstock

The escalating arms race between India and Pakistan reached a dangerous pinnacle on Wednesday as India deployed a ballistic space missile. Using an anti-satellite weapon dubbed ‘Mission Shakti’, India’s military forces successfully shot down a low-orbit satellite.

Indian Prime Minister Modi proudly declared his country a “space power,” becoming only the fourth country to deploy space weaponry. USA, Russia, and China are the other nations with equivalent fire power.

The nuclear-armed nation has been stockpiling weapons in a fierce display of power in recent weeks. As reported by CCN, India commissioned 750,000 new assault rifles and leased a nuclear submarine from Russia. The latest space weapon is a clear demonstration of military might in the escalating arms race with Pakistan.

India: A New Space Power

India’s anti-satellite weapon (A-SAT) successfully hit its target on Wednesday morning, destroying a satellite 300km in space. Speaking after the event, Prime Minister Modi said:

“India has today established its name as a space power. Our scientists used an anti-satellite missile to bring down a live satellite, 300 kilometers away in space in what is called a ‘Low Earth Orbit’.”

Modi declared it a necessary step in securing India’s national security. The timing of this launch is notable as the threat of war between India and Pakistan reaches boiling point.

India vs Pakistan: Nuclear Tensions Threaten to Trigger War

India’s weaponization of space comes after two months of military tension with Pakistan. As previously reported by CCN, India launched airstrikes on Pakistan in February in response to a suicide attack by Pakistan-based terrorist group JeM.

An arms race has since developed in tit-for-tat displays of weaponry. India readied 750,000 new assault rifles while Pakistan pointed its entire F-16 fighter jet fleet at the Indian border. Modi’s ballistic space weapon is India’s trump card in the arms race with Pakistan.

“It’s a big deal in terms of showing your capability… India has now shown its intent that it is a space power and it can use space if required for defense purposes.” – Laxman Kumar Behera, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses.

The Weaponization of Space

The move is likely to trigger fierce debate over the ethics of space weaponry. Thus far only China, Russia, and the US have developed sufficient firepower, but India now joins the “ elite space power club.”

Donald Trump has been particularly outspoken about his desire for a “Space Force,” which could take out rival satellites.

“When it comes to defending America, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space.”

Your Move, Pakistan

India’s space weapon is a clear hint to Pakistan, telling Islamabad to back off. But it’s a dangerous game to play.

Pakistan has an impressive military arsenal of its own, complete with 150 nuclear warheads. Pakistan has shown little appetite for backing down in recent months, and it will likely issue another military display of its own.

Indian PM Modi maintains that his new space weapon is “a step in ensuring peace.” But right now, it only looks poised to trigger more tension in the region.

Hawks Clamoring To Attack Iran

March 28, 2019

Emile Nakhleh

by Emile Nakhleh

As Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Advisor John Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Saudi crown prince and de facto ruler Mohammad bin Salman clamor for a war against Iran, they seem to have conveniently forgotten the destruction and mayhem wrought by the American invasion of Iraq 16 years ago.

These war drummers are underestimating the potential negative consequences of the war and overestimating the Iranian people’s dislike of their theocratic regime. They, like the advocates of the Iraqi invasion in the winter of 2002 and early spring 2003, are confusing Iranians’ dislike of the ayatollahs with their potential embrace of a foreign invader.

On the eve of the Iraq war, former President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, the Vice President Chief of Staff and Assistant to the President David Addington all claimed that the Iraqi invasion aimed at liberating the country from the brutal regime of Saddam Hussein. Removing Saddam from power, they maintained, would eliminate the threat of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and bring stability, security, and democracy to Iraq.

As developments unfolded over the past 16 years, the “liberation” claims proved to be bogus. The invasion and the decision to de-Ba’athify Iraq and dissolve the Iraqi military created an environment conducive to sectarianism, insurgency, and terrorism. The vacuum that followed the regime collapse, the incompetence of the American administration in the “Green Zone,” and the pervasive corruption of the new Iraqi governing councils was quickly filled by pro-Iranian militias, al-Qaeda, and later the Islamic State. The promise of stability and security was replaced by chaos, bloodshed, and mayhem.

The massive destruction of Iraq and the horrendous human and material cost the American “liberation” caused for the country will be child’s play compared to what could happen if Trump and his Israeli and Saudi allies decide to attack Iran. Unlike Iraq—which the British cobbled together after World War One out of the Shia, Sunnis, and Kurds under a minority Sunni rule—  Iran has been in existence for centuries with a vast territory and a huge population. If attacked, Iran has the capability to retaliate against its neighbors, especially Saudi Arabia. Its air and missile forces could quickly destroy the oil and gas facilities and the water and power grids on the Arab side of the Gulf. A war against Iran could easily spread to the Gulf and the Levant. The entire region could go up in flames.

Hubris and Ignorance

The Bush administration was not willing or interested in answering the “morning after” questions regarding the post-Saddam future of Iraq. Whenever I and others urged policy makers to consider the law of unintended consequences and what could go wrong in Iraq following the invasion, Vice President Cheney and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld dismissed our concerns and arrogantly claimed that the U.S. military and civilian administration following the invasion would be able to control the situation in Iraq. Their hubris regarding America’s power and ignorance of Iraqi realities on the ground led to a total breakdown of Iraqi society following the demise of the Saddam regime.

The Trump administration seems to be equally arrogant and ignorant about Iran. It has displayed a similar disregard for strategic thinking about the future of Iran beyond the clerical regime. The Iranophobes within the administration seem to be more obsessed with Iran than the Bush administration was ever with Iraq.

Instead of relying on calm, expert-based analysis, Secretary of State Pompeo has made a series of trips to the region that have involved bullying, threats, and hilarious, if not tragic, mischaracterizations. In a recent conversation with Christian broadcasters in Jerusalem, Pompeo waxed eloquent about God’s presumed divine plan designating Trump as a possible savior of the “Jewish people,” Sunni Islam, Maronite Lebanon, Alawite Syria, and the rest of the world from the perceived modern-day Persian “Hamans.”

The American foreign policy process is in serious trouble if Pompeo truly believes that Trump could be the twenty-first-century version of Queen Esther or Hadassah and that this religious vision could chart the path to a grand strategy in the Middle East. When warped religious interpretations are offered as a substitute for rationally debated policy, whether by a radical Wahhabi Salafist, an evangelical Christian, or an ultra-Orthodox Jew, democratic governments should fear for their future. Invoking the divine as an inspiration or a justification for violence against another country, much as Osama bin Laden did on the eve of 9/11, is a rejection of rational discourse and a return to the barbarism of previous epochs.

Pompeo’s imagined “shuttle diplomacy” in the Middle East has been reduced to supporting Netanyahu’s upcoming election bid, threatening Hezbollah in Lebanon, recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and lambasting any state that does business with Iran. His ambassador-designee to Saudi Arabia, John Abizaid, told Congress that the threat from Iran supersedes concerns for human rights in Arab autocracies.

Furthermore, Trump administration policy operatives, including John Bolton and Rudy Giuliani, have treated an Iranian group called the Mujahedin-e Khalq or MEK as a legitimate alternative to the clerical regime in Iran. The MEK, however, is a terrorist cult that has received funding from all sorts of dubious sources and is often used as a tool by outside groups, states, and organizations, including intelligence services of regional and international state actors, to further an anti-Iran agenda.

Similarly, the Bush administration viewed Ahmed Chalabi, the Iraqi émigré, and the organization he founded, the Iraqi National Congress, as the legitimate alternative to the Saddam regime in Iraq. Vice President Cheney and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld fully bought into Chalabi’s snake-oil sales. Chalabi was instrumental in instigating America’s invasion of Iraq at the cost of trillions of dollars and thousands of American and Iraqi lives. Iraq has never recovered from that ill-fated, unnecessary war. Bolton and Giuliani are as susceptible to MEK’s claims as Cheney and Rumsfeld were to Chalabi’s.

For the sake of whipping up regional animus toward Iran and preparing the ground for a war against the “Persian menace,” Pompeo in effect has told Arab autocrats that so long as they keep mouthing anti-Iran rhetoric, Washington will ignore their despicable human rights record and the continued repression of their people. The thousands of political prisoners in Egyptian, Saudi, and Bahraini jails will have to wait for another day.

Arab regimes have become masters in the art of communicating with their American benefactors. During the Cold War, they received American aid as long as they brandished anti-Communist slogans. After the collapse of the Soviet Union and with the rise of terrorism, these same strongmen were happy to adopt an anti-terrorism rhetoric in order to continue receiving American military and economic aid. Their current anti-Iran public posture is the latest phase in their communication with Washington and is as equally profitable as the previous two phases.

When some regional politicians demurred about getting tough with Iran, as happened during Pompeo’s recent visit to Lebanon, he did not hesitate to threaten them with a panoply of economic sanctions. Vice President Mike Pence used similar language at the recent meeting in Warsaw to berate and even threaten America’s European allies if they dared to take a conciliatory posture toward Iran. The European reaction to Pence’s speech showed that his pathetic performance backfired. Pompeo’s Warsaw meeting ended in utter failure.

Iran Nuclear Deal

Managing Iran’s malign behavior through the Iran nuclear deal or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was a stroke of diplomatic genius, which former Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz negotiated. The Obama administration placed Iran’s objectionable behavior in two baskets—a nuclear basket, which they addressed through the Iran deal, and a non-nuclear one, which the Obama administration was to address once the nuclear inspection became operational and Iran fully compliant. That approach would have worked: most experts judged Iran to be in compliance with the conditions of the nuclear deal. Unfortunately, President Trump decided not to recertify the agreement.

Trump’s decision contradicted the judgment of most nuclear and intelligence experts about Iran’s compliance. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), for example, affirmed Iran’s compliance in more than a dozen of its successive quarterly reports and as recently as earlier this month.

In his open testimony to Congress in January, the Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats stated that Iran continued to comply with the deal even after Trump announced his intention to scuttle it. Coats said, “We do not believe Iran is currently undertaking activities we judge necessary to produce a nuclear device.” Iran was of course cheating in other areas, according to the DNI’s testimony, but not on the nuclear agreement.

In a statement issued April 25 of last year, over two dozen Israeli senior military and intelligence officials judged that it was “in Israel’s best interest that the United States maintains the nuclear agreement with Iran.” The Israeli statement went on to say that “The current deal is better than no deal” and that “Iran’s destructive regional policies and actions, its support for acts of terrorism, its presence in Syria, and its ballistic missiles program should be dealt with outside the framework of the agreement.” This was precisely the position of the Obama administration when it negotiated the deal in the first place.

The Path Forward

Fifty-plus retired American generals and diplomats, in a statement published earlier this month, urged the Trump administration to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal and work on resolving outstanding concerns with Iran diplomatically. They advised against a war because they saw no good outcome. The statement did not seek to exonerate Iran’s destabilizing behavior and its involvement in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, or Lebanon. Nor did the retired senior leaders ignore Iran’s link to terrorism. The statement, however, pointed out, among other things, that the 2015 nuclear deal “put limitations on Iran’s nuclear program that provided assurances that it would not be used to develop weapons, improved American intelligence about potential future development and significantly improved the security of the United States and our allies.”

Additionally, the retired generals and diplomats emphasized that Iran is complying with the agreement and that, under the JCPOA, Iran is barred from engaging in nuclear weapons development program, which prevents it from producing a nuclear device. “Reentering the agreement and lifting the sanctions will greatly enhance United States’ ability to negotiate improvements and enable us to address concerns with the existing agreement.”

Coming from these military and policy realists, who are dedicated to the security of this country, Israel, and America’s allies, this advice is grounded in sane strategic analysis, not in theological whimsy.

Unfortunately Indian Point Not Shut Down Before the Sixth Seal

Riverkeeper: Indian Point shutdown confirms power plant’s ‘time has come and gone’

Indian Point’s Unit 2 reactor automatically shut down on March 15 and resumed generating power around 2 a.m. on March 24, only to go down some 13 hours later. It has been closed since.

THOMAS C. ZAMBITO | ROCKLAND/WESTCHESTER JOURNAL NEWS | 6 hours ago

• “It’s evidence that this plant’s time has come and gone,” Riverkeeper’s Paul Gallay said

• Unit 2 resumed generating power around 2 a.m. on March 24 but was back down again some 13 hour later

This is the first time since 2009 that both reactors have been down at the same time.

What will happen to Indian Point spent nuclear fuel rods? Thomas Zambito for lohud reports.

RICKY FLORES/FRANK BECERRA JR./LOHUD

Indian Point’s two nuclear reactors remain without power while workers try to fix a stubborn malfunction in an electric generator on the non-nuclear side of the Buchanan power plant.

It’s unclear when the plant’s Unit 2 reactor will resume generating power for electric users in Westchester County and New York City, said Jerry Nappi, a spokesman for Entergy, Indian Point’s owner.

The 45-year-old reactor automatically shut down around 3 p.m. on March 15 when a problem was detected in an exciter, which provides the electrical current that produces the magnetic field necessary to create electricity, Nappi said.

The Indian Point Energy Center nuclear power plant in Buchanan as seen from across the Hudson River in Tomkins Cove March 21, 2019.

PETER CARR/THE JOURNAL NEWS

The reactor resumed generating power around 2 a.m. on March 24 but shut down again some 13 hours later when a similar malfunction arose.

The forced shutdowns, or scrams, took place while the plant’s other reactor – Unit 3 – is down for its biennial maintenance and refueling. It was the first time the two reactors had been down at the same time since the spring of 2009 when Unit 2 had an unplanned shutdown while Unit 3 was being refueled.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) continues to monitor Entergy’s troubleshooting efforts. Spokesman Neil Sheehan could not say when Unit 2 would be up and running again.

On Tuesday, Riverkeeper president Paul Gallay said Indian Point’s recent troubles confirm the environmental group’s concerns about the plant.

It’s concerning that they’ve had two shutdowns in the past week or so,” Gallay said. “We are hopeful that Entergy and NRC and New York State are doing everything they need to do to keep us safe. It’s evidence that’s this plant’s time has come and gone.”

Riverkeeper joined the state of New York and Entergy in the landmark 2017 agreement to shut down Indian Point. Unit 3 is scheduled to close next year and Unit 2 in 2021.

Over the years, Riverkeeper pursued several legal challenges against Entergy, citing the potential dangers posed by a nuclear power plant being located so close to a heavily populated region and its impact on the Hudson River.

Entergy denied both assertions, claiming the shutdown agreement was a nod to marketplace pressures created by the low price of natural gas and the ongoing legal challenges.

“All equipment responded as designed and operators reacted as expected during the safe shutdowns,” Nappi said Tuesday. “Indian Point has been safely and reliably generating power for more than 40 years, and will continue to do so until permanent shutdown in 2021.”

Gallay said Indian Point’s closure will hasten a shift in the state’s power grid that will lead to greater reliance on renewables like wind and solar power.

“Everybody knows this plant is closing,” Gallay said. “And when it comes to replacement energy we’re well on our way.”

Iran and Babylon the Great (Daniel 7,8)

Iran Hostile to the West, No Concessions at Home

28 March 2019

Iran Focus

London, 28 March – On Nowruz, the first day of the Persian new year as well as the vernal equinox, the Supreme Leader’s annual address focused on foreign policy, and a call for Iran to develop its non-oil economy.

This speech, delivered in Mashhad, is believed to carry more significance than any other. This year, it offered little hope regarding the country’s economic suffering.

Because of its Zoroastrian roots, the clerical orthodoxy is historically hostile to the Nowruz festival. Ruhollah Khomeini, the Islamic Republic’s founding leader, never so much as used the word “Nowruz” in his annual address.

Khamenei describes the only true Nowruz as Imam Ali’s birth. He and Iranian president Hassan Rouhani offered Nowruz greetings which were broadcast on television. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also issued a Nowruz message.

However, the most important speech is said to be the one Khamenei gives on the first day of the new year to the hundreds of thousands who make the annual pilgrimage to the Imam Reza Shrine in Mashhad. His annual speech has been a good indicator for what he will do in the coming year.

This year, he barely mentioned the poor, and nothing was said about workers being paid on time, or the protests over unpaid wages that have become common. Neither did he discuss the latest official unemployment rate, 13.5%, which is the highest in twelve years, and it would be much higher if more women joined the labor force.

Khamenei admitted that Iran’s problems go beyond sanctions. President Rouhani promised during his campaign in 2013, that competency would be restored after the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad years. But he has done the exact opposite, and the economy is being run just as poorly as when Ahmadinejad was in power. While he acknowledges that he is “no economist”, he claimed the pressure from sanctions created an opportunity for structural reforms. He said that four years ago he had been told bank reform legislation was about to be sent to the Majlis, but has not yet made it there.

Khamenei proposed a phrase to describe the coming year. This is the year for “boosting production.” He also seemed convinced that Iran will not see sanctions relief. In his concluding words to the religious youth, he seemed worried that the revolution’s journey to its final destination— Islamic civilization — was behind schedule. He implied that the religious youth need a freer hand to eradicate “Westoxication”.

The picture Khamenei painted showed little grounds for hope, so perhaps the Trump administration has convinced Khamenei that Iran cannot count on outlasting U.S. hostility. But, as of now, Khamenei is signaling no flexibility in response to these pressures.

Israeli Bombing Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Latest Israeli Bombing On Gaza Destroyed 30 Residential Units, And Caused Damage To 500

27 Mar

12:39 AM

Palestinian Labor Minister Mofeed al-Hasaina has reported, Tuesday, that the Israeli bombing on Gaza, which started on Monday evening, has destroyed 30 civilian residential units, and caused damage to 500 others.

In a press briefing, al-Hasaina said that engineers and workers of the Labor Ministry have started since morning hours, Tuesday, assessing the damage caused by extensive Israeli bombings on Gaza.

He added that the teams started reopening roads that were closed by debris of bombed homes, and buildings.

Al-Hasaina also stated that the Ministry is conducting all needed efforts, including coordination with international institutions, to ease the suffering of the Palestinian people in the besieged and impoverished Gaza Strip.

The Ad-Dameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association issued a statement condemning Israel’s serious escalation on Gaza, and its ongoing violations of international law, especially international humanitarian laws.

Ad-Dameer added that this latest escalation is the most violent since Israel’s offensive on the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2014, and called on the International Community to end its silence and intervene to end these serious crimes against the civilian population.

It stated that the Israeli army started its latest offensive of the Gaza Strip on Monday evening, March 25th, 2019, by carrying out more than 50 air strikes, targeting not only sites used by army resistance groups, but also dozens of civilian homes, apartment and commercial buildings, in addition to agricultural lands and structures, causing serious damage and dozens of injuries.

Iran Poised to Resume Work on Nuclear Weapons

U.S. Says Iran Poised to Resume Work on Nuclear Weapons

Trump administration levels charges as Treasury and State Departments sanction more than two dozen Iranian officials

Ian Talley

Updated March 22, 2019 10:32 a.m. ET

The Trump administration leveled the charges as the Treasury and State Departments sanctioned more than two dozen Iranian officials, scientists and alleged front companies connected to the Tehran-based Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research, or SPND, as it is known by its Farsi initials.

The sanctions and accompanying revelations are designed in part to step up pressure on Europe and others to back Washington’s plan to toughen a 2015 nuclear accord the U.S. pulled out of last year. And by threatening to penalize any individuals or companies around the world that deal with the blacklisted entities, the Trump administration is trying to cut off access to the tools and the expertise needed for a nuclear-weapons program.

Iran denies it has ever sought nuclear weapons, although a United Nations report in 2015 found it had a coordinated weapons program until 2003 and continued parts of the activities until 2009.

Iranian officials didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

U.S. officials aren’t saying the SPND is currently working to nuclearize Iran’s weapons program. But Sigal Mandelker, Treasury under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, and Christopher Ford, assistant secretary of state for international security and nonproliferation, said the unit’s activities suggest Iran’s government still has its eye on nuclear weapons, and isn’t simply seeking a civilian nuclear program, as Tehran contends.

Sigal Mandelker, under secretary of terrorism and financial intelligence at the Treasury Department, spoke at a Senate Banking Committee hearing last August. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News

The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, says Iran is complying with the terms of the 2015 accord. The Trump administration, however, cited restrictions on the IAEA’s ability to inspect all sites as among reasons it decided last year to leave the deal. The exit marked a major reversal in Washington’s Iran policy as the White House reimposed economy-wide sanctions on Iran in an effort to pressure Tehran into signing a more stringent nuclear deal and expanding the scope to include the country’s broader security stance.

The SPND inherited Iran’s original nuclear-weapons program, the AMAD program, and is run by Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the sanctioned former Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps brigadier general and physicist viewed by many as the father of the country’s nuclear-weapons program, U.S. officials say. The unit was sanctioned by the Obama administration in 2014 for its alleged efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction.

“They continue to operate in ways that mean the intellectual wealth of that program continues to be able to function,” Ms. Mandelker said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Ford, of the State Department, said in an interview with the Journal that the SPND’s continued existence “highlights the problem of Iran’s ongoing preparation to reconstitute its whole weapons program, if it chooses to.”

“They are doing everything they can to keep in existence a virtual turnkey capability to get back into the weaponization business…at a moment’s notice,” he said.

Several of the SPND’s alleged front companies sanctioned Friday by the U.S. have been active in recent years, according to a Journal review of export records, including after Iran signed the 2015 deal.

In September 2017, one of those firms, Tehran-based Kimiya Pakhsh Shargh Co., imported special equipment for transporting radioactive material like iridium-192 from Russia. That was one of four shipments that year, and nearly six dozen since 2012, all from the same Russian company to an address in Tehran immediately next door to a government “forensic medicine” office, according to shipping data provided to the Journal by the trade database, Import Genius. The firm didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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U.S. officials, along with many Iran watchers and nuclear-weapons experts, say that while radioactive isotopes have legitimate medical uses, they also can be used in weapons programs, including for testing equipment.

According to an analysis of Iranian nuclear records seized by Israel in a raid that was disclosed in 2018, Iran has long sought to break the AMAD program into covert and overt segments. The analysis, published by the Institute for Science and International Security and co-authored by a former top IAEA official, said the archive of information shows Iran sought to transfer the more overt parts of the AMAD program to research institutes and universities, where it could plausibly claim activities to be civilian in nature.

Some of Friday’s sanction targets were derived from the archive, the administration said, without elaborating.

The Treasury Department said the Kimiya Pakhsh Shargh firm is subordinate to the SPND, taking direction from senior unit officials. And several of the targeted officials, including Jalal Emami Gharah Hajjlu, a weapon-systems engineer for the newly blacklisted missile-tech firm Shahid Karimi Group are former AMAD officials, Treasury said.

Another sanctioned Iranian firm called Pulse Niru has sought to provide financial, material and technological support for the SPND, Treasury said, procuring equipment and advanced technologies from Chinese, Russian and foreign suppliers.

Trade records show the company has imported equipment at least twice from a Russian firm called Russian Technology Group 2, whose website said it specializes in electrical products needed for neutron generators, devices that can ignite nuclear-chain reactions with a burst of atomic particles.

Other sanctioned companies and associated officials include Shahid Karimi Group, which works on missile and explosives technology; Shahid Chamran Group, specializing in electron acceleration; and Shahid Fakhar Moghaddam Group, which has worked on radiation monitoring, explosion simulators and neutron-monitoring systems, Treasury said.

The firms and individuals could not be reached or did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“Taken collectively, the broad spectrum of capabilities within this group…is the expertise that it takes to develop nuclear weapons,” Ms. Mandelker said.

Mr. Ford said keeping the former AMAD officials employed in fields with dual-use materials and technology—which has both civilian and military capabilities—preserves the skills of Iran’s nuclear and advance-weapons scientists.

That signals Tehran’s strategic intentions, Mr. Ford said, and is why the U.S. is pushing its allies and other signatories to the 2015 deal to back a new nuclear accord that doesn’t give Iran the ability to enrich weapons-grade nuclear material after 10 years, the agreement’s so-called sunset clause.

“It should tell you something about the importance of absolutely precluding any capability of the Iranians to take advantage of the conditions,” he said.

Otherwise, he said, Iran will be able to rapidly build out the size and scope of the nuclear-materials program.

“All of these things would have perfectly set them up with an extraordinarily short breakout time,” Mr. Ford said, referring to the time it takes to enrich enough uranium to build a nuclear weapon.